Environmental Allergies

Also known as: hay fever, allergic rhinitis.

What are environmental allergies?

Environmental allergies are when the immune system overreacts to things normally considered harmless in the environment like pollens, dust mite, animals, and molds.

What causes environmental allergies?

People with asthma or eczema and people with close family members with asthma or allergies are more likely to develop environmental allergies. About 20% of people have environmental allergies. These can affect people of all ages, but generally start in childhood.

What are the symptoms of environmental allergies?

Itchy nose, runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, drainage down the back of the throat, frequent throat clearing, hoarse voice, itchy ears, itchy eyes, watery eyes, dark circles under the eyes.

What are environmental allergies care options?

A board certified allergist can test you to determine what you are allergic to, in order to help avoid the allergen causing your symptoms. Medications like antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays can be helpful in reducing your symptoms. Allergy shots have shown to decrease symptoms of many allergies and can also prevent the development of new allergies. Allergy shots can prevent asthma in children, and can be helpful in the treatment of eczema.

Reviewed by: Amy S Feldman, MD

This page was last updated on: March 20, 2019 03:58 PM

What are environmental allergies?

Dr. Amy Feldman, pediatric allergist and immunologist, explains the triggers and symptoms of environmental allergies in children.